Mumbai Indians secured a crucial win in their pursuit of an IPL playoff spot as they edged out Kings XI Punjab by three runs at the Wankhede Stadium, despite KL Rahul’s fine 94 from 60 balls.
Chasing 184 to win, IPL leading run-scorer Rahul smashed 10 fours and three sixes in hitting his sixth fifty of the tournament but it wasn’t to be enough as he perished in the penultimate over to Jasprit Bumrah.
Bumrah proved to be the difference between the two sides as, not only did he claim the crucial wicket, he returned stunning figures of 3-15 from his four overs in the high-scoring clash.
With victory, Mumbai move into the fourth and final playoff spot with one game to play – but before Mumbai face the Delhi Daredevils in their final game on Sunday, the Royal Challengers Bangalore can move above them on net run-rate with a handy win over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday.
Mumbai – who have found form at the right time, winning five of their last seven after earning only one victory from their first six – managed 186-8 after being put into bat by Kings XI, with Kieron Pollard striking a 23-ball 50 on his return to the side following a spell on the sidelines due to poor form.
Useful cameos from Suryakumar Yadav (27 off 15), Ishan Kishan (20 off 12) and Krunal Pandya (32 off 23) helped lift the Indians score further, though Kings XI’s Andrew Tye proved a constant thorn in their side.
Tye, similar to Bumrah’s later efforts, returned incredible four-over figures of 4-16 – in the Australian seamer and Rahul, Kings XI boast both the orange and purple cap holders reserved for the leading run-scorer and wicket-taker in the competition.
Kings XI’s chase started well enough, with Chris Gayle (18 off 11) and the in-form Rahul scoring 28 from the first three overs, before the former was bounced out – as has proven to be a habit in recent matches – by New Zealand left-armer Mitchell McClenaghan (2-37).
Aaron Finch provided fine support for Rahul, contributing 46 (off 35 balls) to a 111-run stand for the second wicket as the Kings XI opener cruised through to another half century.
But, with the visiting side well placed needing just 42 runs from the final four overs, the introduction of Bumrah proved to be a game-changer as the death-bowling specialist claimed Finch’s wicket and Marcus Stoinis’ in a super 17th over costing only four runs.
Rahul tried his best to wrestle back the momentum, taking three fours in as many balls off Ben Cutting’s following over, but the re-introduction of Bumrah in the 19th – and a beautifully disguised slower ball – did for Rahul, as he holed out at long-off.
McClenaghan then successfully defended 17 from the final over to see Mumbai victorious in a final-over thriller, the kind of which they were consistently losing during their poor start to the tournament.
Thursday’s IPL encounter sees Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore need a win against table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad to stay in the playoff hunt. Join us from 3pm on Sky Sports Mix.